Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: On Being a Potty-mouthed Grandmother

In the olden days, after a dinner party, the women gathered in the kitchen to clean up the mess, while the men retreated into “The Drawing Room” to smoke cigars, drink expensive brandy, discuss important matters of the day, swear, tell dirty jokes and scratch their nuts.

I was always the one who wanted to join the men.  I don’t have any nuts to scratch, but I can drink, swap stories and swear with the best of them.

Enter:  The Grandchildren.

My poor, long-suffering daughter, Farrah, has taken to slapping her hand over my mouth on more than one occasion, I’m afraid, while in the company of children.  But truly there are times when I just can’t help myself.  My personal favorite, of course, is the one that starts with an “F.”  It’s such an all-purpose, emphatic and satisfying punctuation mark. 

But there are times when it just doesn’t fit. 

Like the time recently, during dinner with my family and others (minus the babies), Farrah took a phone call at the table, and then got up, left us, and went into the kitchen to continue the conversation with her caller.  I was appalled. “For God’s sake, honey, call her back!” I shouted.  “So-and-so is in crisis, Mom!” she protested.  “Well damn it,” I said, “the crisis will still be there in half-an-hour!  I did not fucking raise you like that, young lady!”

Only when everyone cracked up did I realize how really bizarre that sounded.

Anyway, point of the story:  I’ve spoken often of my first-born grandboy, Griffin, who is about to be seven.  Well, it seems I got myself into a bit of trouble with his father (Farrah’s ex), who is by-the-way not my favorite person in the world, as I am surely not his.

It happened one afternoon while I was taking care of  my Griffin.  We were playing with his seven million pieces of Star Wars Lego thingies.  He kept making up games, and changing the rules to suit his needs.  Having experienced this with him a thousand times, I was starting to get a little irritated. 

“If you don’t stop cheating, honey,” I told him, “I won’t play games with you anymore, and then you’ll be in deep ka ka!”

Fast forward to about a week later, while again spending time with my boy:

“Daddy says I can’t eat the Oreos for two whole more days, YaYa.”

“Why is that, sweetie?”

“’cause I’m being punished.”

“For what?” I asked, pulling him close to me for a consoling hug.

Farrah walked into the room just as he stepped back, folded his arms and looked at me with an accusatory frown.

“I’m in trouble ‘cause I said ‘ka ka’ and Daddy got mad and he said that was just like saying, ‘SHIT!’

I looked at my daughter.  She looked at me.  And we simultaneously tightened our lips, turning red in an effort to stifle our laughter.

“Griffin,” we both said in mock-protest.  “You’re not allowed to say ‘shit!’”

And then I, ever the defiant one, said, “What the…?  It’s like saying ‘poop!’  If you’re allowed to say ‘poop,’ you should be allowed to say ‘ka ka!’

Who in God’s Name knew that ‘ka ka’ was a bad word?

I’m going to have to start wearing a muzzle.


February 28, 2012 - Posted by | Family Life, Grandparenthood | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. ‘Kaka’ has ALWAYS been the G-rated version of ‘Shit.’ This man is illiterate. Glad he’s an ex!

    Comment by judy robinson | February 28, 2012 | Reply

  2. Jill, I’m in California visiting the grand kids and I have learned that at 18 the grandson can swear with the best of them. His Mom has finally given up, since legally he is an adult, but he can’t swear when his little sisters, 7 and almost 4, are around. I think that means that I don’t have to bite my tongue quite so much when I’m around him. Only a few more years to go, Sweetie, you can make it!

    Comment by Linda Wines Stokes | February 28, 2012 | Reply

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